Imagine a world where your morning coffee is brewed to perfection as you wake, your car knows your daily schedule, and your home adjusts to your comfort as you walk through the door. This isn’t a scene from a science fiction novel; it’s the reality we’re stepping into, thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT).
The integration of the IoT into our daily lives is inevitable. Actually, it’s already happening. If we take a minute and think about the devices surrounding us – fitness trackers, baby monitors, smart door locks – IoT applications are everywhere. They’re improving productivity, adding convenience, and occasionally making us feel like we’re living in a sci-fi movie. In fact, there are about 15 billion IoT-connected devices, and the number is predicted to surpass 29 billion devices in 2030.
But what does this mean for businesses? We decided to prepare this guide to provide a better understanding of what IoT is and why we need mobile applications for it. We also delve into the top IoT mobile apps that are shaping our present and will significantly impact the future. This article will give you a grasp of the main concept of smart connected devices and insights into how to get the most out of this trend.
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The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of cross-connected, wireless devices with access to the Internet. These devices constantly gather information from their surroundings. Thanks to embedded sensors, processors, and communication hardware, they can also interpret and act on data they acquire or share with each other.
For internet-enabled devices to communicate effectively, there is a need for special software solutions. An IoT mobile app is software that integrates data and serves as the touchpoint that makes IoT accessible to users. In simple terms, it provides the interface through which we can control and monitor smart devices.
The idea of IoT isn’t new. Way back in 1989, John Romkey and Simon Hackett connected a toaster to the Internet. The toaster could only turn the power on and off, thus regulating the darkness of the toast by adjusting the cooking time. In 1991, the system was improved: a small robot, also controlled via the Internet, was added. It could pick up a slice of bread and drop it into the toaster. Today the list of existing and possible IoT gadgets extends far beyond what was once imaginable.
With worldwide spending on IoT forecasted to hit $805.7 billion in 2023, reflecting a 10.6% increase over 2022, it’s a present-day reality. Businesses and manufacturers are not just exploring but heavily investing in the mobile IoT ecosystem, with expectations that it will surpass $1 trillion by 2026. The lion’s share of the IoT market comes from software, including mobile apps, and this year, it’s anticipated considerable mobile IoT app market growth.
Why is this so? Because billions of people across the globe use smartphones, and this number continues to increase daily. Given the streamlined app development process and the increasing mobile app integration with IoT, it’s no surprise mobile phones become the number one way to interact with smart devices. You can easily access and control IoT systems using just one app on your phone.
The IoT mobile trend changes our lives for the better. The reality of interconnected appliances accessible from anywhere is simply too attractive to do without.
A mobile app is a bridge between an IoT device and a mobile phone, acting as the primary interface through which we can manage our smart things. Whether you want to adjust the lighting in your home or monitor the temperature of a manufacturing unit, mobile apps provide the control panel, making the management of IoT technologies intuitive and effortless.
IoT mobile apps do more than just supplement the use of IoT; they enhance it, making it work more efficiently and responsively. Imagine an intelligent irrigation system that uses weather forecasts and soil moisture data to automatically adjust watering schedules for your garden, all controlled through a mobile app. This strong synchronization turns generic devices into intelligent assistants.
While you can use desktops to control IoT devices, smartphones are simply more convenient tools for this purpose. Why? First, they come with various sensors and can connect through Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and other means. Second, in a world where smartphones are virtually an extension of ourselves, always at our fingertips, they naturally become the most suitable gateway to access IoT-enabled devices remotely wherever you are. Moreover, your phone can share geolocation information with other devices, which is also beneficial. For instance, you can use this feature to tell your smart car to warm up in chilly weather based on your location.
For businesses, mobile IoT solutions are more of a strategic asset that offers insights, agility, and competitive advantage. They transform data into decisions, devices into intelligent systems, and businesses into responsive, customer-centric organizations.
The advancements in IoT app technology and its fusion with emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) allow the creation of innovative solutions that solve real-world challenges we face and enhance everyday experiences. Here are 9 major Internet of Things applications that are already affecting the reality we live in.
The Internet of Things app ecosystem can make cities more efficient and better to live, reshaping the way they function and evolve. Urban centers can control traffic, modernize government services, reduce waste, and improve the efficiency of utilized resources through the automation of services, possible due to the IoT technology. It can also contribute to improved economic growth and help become an environmentally sustainable city.
For example, in Barcelona, the implementation of smart streetlights equipped with sensors helped save energy. These lights adjust their brightness based on traffic, saving energy and providing optimal illumination. Similarly, Singapore’s Smart Nation initiative uses a network of sensors and cameras to monitor the cleanliness of the streets and crowd density, to manage city services more proactively.
Smart cities can grow thanks to a scalable IoT app architecture that can adapt to a city’s growing needs and complexities. Due to this architecture, it’s possible to create a cohesive network of various vital systems that can respond to dynamic urban challenges and adapt to the needs of their inhabitants.
A lot of Internet of Things apps and devices for logistics exist today that offer unprecedented visibility and automation. They are highly popular, as they allow real-time tracking of shipments and vehicles, predictive maintenance, reducing costs, and choosing optimal routes.
We can see a vivid example of IoT app innovation and design in DHL’s solution. They have implemented sensors and machine learning algorithms to monitor and analyze the location and temperature of their shipments. In such a way, the company ensures the best condition for sensitive goods.
Emerging IoT app development is also focusing on fleet management. Companies like UPS are embedding sensors into vehicles to monitor their condition, driver behavior, and fuel efficiency. The data received from those sensors help take proactive maintenance, foster safer driving practices, and achieve better overall operational efficiency.
Regardless of whether you’re a small courier company or a multinational corporation, innovative IoT app deployment strategies are what you need to enjoy all these innovations and improve your bottom line.
IoT, or IoMT (Internet of Medical Things) in healthcare, greatly impacts the industry today. Mobile app IoT solutions help healthcare providers offer personalized care. They can monitor vital signs, chronic conditions, and patient well-being, allowing for timely interventions in critical patient health changes and easier ongoing management of chronic conditions.
Remote patient monitoring systems are the most popular IoT applications in healthcare. Companies like Medtronic offer devices that continuously monitor heart conditions and automatically transmit data to healthcare professionals, who can immediately react to changes in a patient’s health status and adjust treatment plans accordingly.
Medication management is another promising area that actively adopts smart device applications. For instance, there are pill dispensers that remind patients of the correct dosages and even notify caregivers if a dose is missed. Such solutions enhance adherence to medication regimens and improve overall patient health.
Hospitals also can benefit from utilizing IoT mobile apps to monitor medical equipment, track assets, and even monitor hygiene compliance. With these insights, clinics can repair or replace equipment in time, streamline operations, and reduce costs while contributing to a safer healthcare environment.
By leveraging real-time data transmitted by IoT-enabled mobile applications, insurers can personalize policies, manage risks proactively, and enhance user experiences. In fact, these applications help you understand, predict, and respond to individual needs.
Let’s see how IoT apps can reshape the automotive insurance sector. Progressive Insurance’s Snapshot program uses a plug-in device to track driving behavior, including speed, braking, and driving time. Insurers can offer personalized premiums using IoT data on individual driving habits and reward safe drivers with better rates.
Health and life insurance sectors are also embracing IoT mobile app trends. John Hancock, for instance, offers a program for tracking fitness activities. Policyholders who meet certain fitness goals can earn discounts and rewards that motivate them to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
IoT mobile apps in home insurance are making a significant impact as well. Smart home devices that detect leaks, smoke, or unauthorized entry into the house can be integrated with insurance policies to offer additional protection. Thus, insurers can mitigate risks, reduce claims, and enhance customer satisfaction.
IoT technology helps retailers unlock unprecedented savings, efficiencies, and innovation. You can accomplish a lot with connected devices, including improving inventory control, optimizing supply chain management, reducing waste, and enhancing sustainability. Walmart, for example, can monitor the freshness of perishable goods with the help of sensors, reducing spoilage and ensuring product quality.
What’s more, the Internet of Things applications are turning traditional shopping experiences into personalized, interactive journeys. For instance, Rebecca Minkoff’s stores offer tablets to allow customers to browse products, request fitting rooms, and even change the lighting in the fitting rooms to simulate different times of the day.
Meanwhile, Amazon Go’s cashier-less stores eliminate the need for traditional checkout lines. You simply walk in, pick up the necessary items, and walk out, with the total amount automatically charged to your Amazon account. The blend of IoT sensors, computer vision, and deep learning algorithms is making it possible.
Moreover, thanks to the IoT application, retailers can monitor such customer shopping patterns as purchase history, preferences, and location information, to personalize experiences that resonate with individual needs.
Farmers can use IoT mobile apps to optimize various time-consuming operations and make informed decisions about harvesting, fertilization, and irrigation. For example, John Deere’s precision farming solution gives farmers data-driven insights on soil health, moisture levels, and equipment performance. This data is invaluable in preventing resource wasting, increasing yields, and improving efficiency.
Talking about indoor planting, IoT allows monitoring and managing micro-climate conditions, resulting in increased production and quality control. For outdoor planting, IoT application helps create smart irrigation and fertilizer systems. For example, there are sprinkler systems that dispense water only when needed, promoting responsible resource management.
Smart farming extends to livestock management as well. Companies like Cowlar offer intelligent collars for cows that monitor health, activity, and reproductive cycles. It helps farmers detect illnesses early, manage feeding efficiently, and predict the best time for breeding. It’s a level of control that was previously unimaginable.
The industrial landscape is undergoing a seismic shift with the advent of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Factories are embracing connected device applications primarily to harness the power of data. By connecting machine equipment and factory items to sensors, they create a network that enables real-time analytics, forming the basis for strategic planning and operational efficiencies. As a result, factories benefit from decreased energy consumption, enhanced asset tracking, and early detection of equipment issues.
At Siemens’ Amberg Electronics Plant in Germany, the future of manufacturing is already here, and it’s nearly 75% automated thanks to IoT mobile app solutions. Sensors attached to factory equipment continuously monitor the production line, identifying bottlenecks and reducing waste. They not only keep things running smoothly but also track machine performance, predicting maintenance needs and preventing those costly breakdowns.
And it doesn’t stop at the factory floor. RFID tags and GPS technology provide a bird’s-eye view of the entire supply chain from the product’s birth to its delivery, ensuring transparency and accountability.
A smart grid is like a high-tech version of the electrical system that brings power to homes and businesses. It’s a holistic solution that uses digital technology to control and keep track of the electricity that flows from power plants to buildings. The Internet of Things app ecosystem is behind the smart grid’s improved electricity distribution and reliability, reduced energy waste and cost.
For instance, Chattanooga, Tennessee, has implemented a smart grid that has significantly reduced power outages by allowing the city’s Electric Power Board to monitor the entire electricity infrastructure in real time. It resulted in quicker response times to outages and millions of dollars in savings.
In Europe, Denmark’s island of Bornholm is testing a smart grid system that integrates renewable energy sources like wind and solar power. On top of that, mobile IoT apps let consumers see and control how much energy they are using. It helps make the whole system more efficient and environmentally friendly.
IoT can greatly improve the way things work in the hospitality and tourism sectors. It can automate many routine tasks and interactions, allowing your staff to focus on more critical issues and boosting the guest experience to the next level.
Take, for example, the Hilton’s Digital Key technology. Through an IoT application on a guest’s smartphone, they can bypass the front desk, select their room, and unlock the door. Moreover, guests can use a mobile app to control room features like temperature, lighting, and even entertainment systems. Thus, they not only added more convenience to their gest but streamlined operations for the hotel and optimized energy usage based on the gathered data.
Similarly, Marriott International is experimenting with IoT to make guest stays more comfortable and hyper-personalized. Their mobile app lets guests change room temperature, lighting, and more to suit their preferences. Restaurants are also turning to IoT apps. Smart refrigerators, for example, can monitor temperature and humidity levels, which helps keep food fresh and cut waste.
The demand for IoT solutions is growing every day, and so does the number of IoT mobile app developers for hire and software providers.
A recent survey revealed that businesses spent $53 billion on IoT software in 2022. This figure shows how much companies believe in the opportunities of IoT mobile apps. In fact, 53% of executives are using IoT solutions now, 24% plan to deploy them in the next 12 to 24 months, and 18% are thinking about using them.
What’s driving this growth? A closer look at the industries reveals that Agriculture (23%) is leading the way in terms of IoT adoption. Industrial automation is closed behind at 22%, followed by the automotive industry at 20%, and energy and smart cities at 17%.
These statistics highlight that the demand for IoT mobile app development is on the rise, and the potential for innovation is virtually endless.
The future of IoT is bright, with more companies investing in it. In 2023, 33% of businesses plan to spend between $100K – $1 million on IoT, up from 23% in 2022. Additionally, 12% expect to spend over $10 million on IoT technology this year.
As you now know the numerous opportunities and benefits of IoT applications across different industries, the next logical step is to consider how your organization can join in on this wave of innovation.
An experienced IoT development company like Relevant Software can help you with your specific needs by creating a unique IoT solution. Our team of experts will work with you at every step, making sure that your mobile IoT app fits your business goals and brings real value to your users. Ready to take the next step in innovation? Contact us today to get an estimation for your IoT project.